Reflections for Mother's Day
AUTHOR: Maria Ward
Maria is a mother of 2.5 (one on the way ) and a cross Culture Worker In Thailand. Here she shares about some of the challenges and blessings of raising her children on the mission field.
"All of these factors will help them become global citizens."
As a mom, being on the mission field has a lot of challenges and great moments also. First of all, kids are excellent for ministry and often are the key to help unlock the door to relationships. Children will easily attract other kids, and in turn that helps us build relationships with their families as well.
We strive to bring our kids into our ministry context as much as possible. Years ago, while serving in Mongolia, I saw a need for moms in the Ger district to have a safe place for their kids to play and connect with other moms. We started a playgroup twice a week and it was a great way to get to know other moms and for my kids to meet and play with other kids their age.
In Thailand, we have found that opening up our house for other kids to come over is a huge opportunity. Every day, kids come over to play at our house, either inside with our toys and crafts, or outside playing games or riding scooters. Our kids are able to play with other kids, and we are also able to build relationships with locals.
Since our kids have grown up in other countries, and have met kids of many different backgrounds, they don’t see race or ethnicity. They only see someone to play with that happens to speak a different language. That barrier doesn’t stop them. They have also met other missionary kids from other countries, who quickly become like family to them. They spend time together and are a support to each other. A great thing is that they are growing up accepting people and making friends from other cultures and countries. They are also being exposed to different cuisines. For instance, my youngest son’s favorite snack is spicy seaweed. All of these factors will help them to be better global citizens.
There are also many challenges of being a mother on the mission field.
A big part of my daily life is homeschooling, cleaning, laundry and making meals. Some days it may seem like I am not doing anything of significance. This is one reason why I open our house to local Thai children in the afternoon for outreach. It’s an easy way for our kids and I to be involved in ministry and outreach into the local community.
Another challenge is our children don’t know the local language well, or have an identity within the culture. We need to find ways for them to learn the language, whether that is through going to a local Thai school, practicing speaking with their Thai friends, or having a Thai tutor come to the house. At some point they need to really learn the language or they may never feel a true identity with the culture we are living in.
Being on the mission field can be very transient. Other missionaries, who have become like family, may leave the field or may go to a new place of ministry. Also, when we go on furlough, our kids miss their friends in Thailand. Then when we return to our country of ministry, they miss their grandparents, relatives, and friends. One thing that we have seen is that the transitions are hard for our boys to process and can also affect their behavior. Our children have to say a lot of goodbyes and we always have to be prepared to walk them through that.
Another challenge of being on the mission field with kids, is knowing that your children are missing out on many different things. They are missing out on building relationships with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who live in other places. They miss all of the birthday parties, big celebrations and gatherings at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter with family, camping trips, and other fun activities.
In Thailand there are a lot of snakes, poisonous insects, and tropical diseases. This is always a worry to add to the other anxieties I may have. One thing I have had to remember while living overseas is that God has called us to our current place of ministry. He ultimately loves our kids more than we ever could, so we need to constantly surrender our children to Him and trust that He will take care of them every step of the way. Whether it’s their health, in transitions, or making new friends, God has our kids in the palm of His hand. I need to rest assured in that.
AUTHOR Shari Tvrdik
As a missionary sharing the Gospel to the unreached, it is here at the empty tomb, where you realize the story you are passing along is either miraculous or ... insane.
We are telling people that God is not dead. He is not bottled up in an idol on their shelf, or perched on the top of a mountain. He is not remembered....He is alive.
For most of us, doubt has crept in from time to time over the years. The Easter story is not that simple is it? It balances precariously against the virgin birth and begs the question, "Are you crazy?"
The death, and even the resurrection of Jesus Christ has significant historical data. Our Faith in Christ is not without something to stand on. Yet for the history to be made real to us, we need something more than data. What would it take to convince our doubts? 500 eyewitness? Ten thousand? What number would confirm to us living two-thousand years after the fact, that yes, the resurrection was indeed a verified, vetted, factual event?
How do we convince the doubter or those hearing the Gospel story for the very first time?
In my experience with the unreached and my personal battle with doubt, it takes something more than a well organized apologetics explanation.
When all the talk and rhetoric has faded it is the still small voice that confirms. It is the daily collection of Christ's revelation piled high after years equating to one beautifully redeemed life that convinces a worn out believer to keep the faith. As Peter says well in John 6:8 “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life."
And this is the real message people are looking for, a message of transformation, hope and rescue.
That is the message that screams louder than the available FACTS.
For those facts, although uplifting to the one bullied by doubt, will not be the tipping point for a person who needs to see to find their hope in Christ.
The doubter must see you out of the tomb.
You and I, out of our tomb, fully alive in Christ, will do much more to lead others to embrace the resurrection than we could possibly imagine.
"It is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:6-7
AUTHOR: Shari Tvrdik
God so loved the world.
But I don't think I do.
I don't mean to not love the world. I just get caught up in the fear of the every day warnings, the hatred and division given in heaping teaspoons via social media, radio, my neighbor's update on the world news, my own doubts, exhaustion.
I walked by a homeless man last Friday night as I exited a missions fund raiser event.
We were dressed up for the evening, and I had my twelve year old granddaughter with me.
He asked us for money.
"We should go talk to him...find out his name." she said.
She was saying this because this is what I taught her after all my years of mission work with the suffering poor.
"Don't throw them money, don't pass them your old clothes....talk to them, look them in the eye and ask them their name."
She had sat in on my lectures...heard me state this in workshops.
But that night was just a little too cold.
I was in a little too big of a hurry.
I was a little too afraid.
My heart was just a little too hard.
So I made excuses.
It's not safe.
I have my granddaughter with me.
As the Holy Spirit nudged me to rethink those statements, I ignored.
Somehow I reached within for the days gone by as if they would save me.
When I was far away from here and swimming in a sea of suffering people.
When I was the missionary.
We ducked into the restaurant for dinner, but I had disappointment her...and myself.
That night as we lay down to sleep in our hotel room, my granddaughter prayed for the homeless.
I heard a piece of me in her prayers. A piece I had lost.
There it is...I thought.
The next morning, on our walk to Starbucks before a day of more missions meetings,
I walked by a homeless woman.
This time it was bright daylight.
The sun was warming us.
She was aged and friendly with a cute little pug dog wearing a pink bonnet who sat directly on top of her shopping cart that was piled with blankets.
She smiled directly at me.
"Hello!" she exclaimed as if I were her old friend.
"Hi!" I replied with a friendly heart and kept on walking.
One block away my granddaughter pierced my bruised conscience,
"I wonder what her name was?" she asked.
God, in his kindness, had removed all obstacles from the night before...and still...I didn't stop.
I thought for a good few minutes about my heart.
I asked myself questions that only a good paid therapist could answer.
I don't know when I grew afraid, or cold, or tired...
but I did.
"I'm so sorry." I said.
"I don't know why but I've lost something..."
The flame had gone out in my heart.
I had somehow shifted from a woman devoted to reach the poor for Christ to a woman capable of ignoring the street person.
I had warned about the "us and them" mentality and here I was....right there where I once judged others for standing.
How on earth did this happen?
I felt drenched in the doom of me.
And then I realized,
I can not love the world.
I do not.
Maybe I never did.
But HE does.
He loves so greatly, so intensely and all the love I ever had for anyone was HIM.
So now when I'm lost, when i'm so far from where I should be, I only need to find Him again and ask HIM to fill me with that love.
To love the world through me again.
Like He once did, when I would drop everything to notice the one marginalized and to give credit to their being on this planet by looking them in the eye and seeing them.
The drunk man in the street,
The broken child with no parents,
The prostitute with no self worth,
The angry thief who had just stolen my money,
I would be overcome with love for them showing them with pure and true love that they are worth everything to Jesus.
And so this is what I prayed, with my Starbucks coffee in hand, my sweet granddaughter by my side and my missionary days long faded into a distant story.
"Help me Jesus....show me how again... save me from my selfish self...love through me again."
And I trust He will.
This is what God says,
The following Stories From The Field editions will be a series of letters written by incarcerated men in the United States. These letters were penned as a response to FREEDOM FROM WITHIN , Foundations For Life - Unleash The Masterpiece, a program developed by CCWM Missionaries Cliff and Sue Parrish to teach how to live Godly principles in such a way that brings contagious life transformation, even within the walls of a prison. Cliff and Sue are taking Freedom From Within to the prisons of the United States and possibly to a church near you. This is Letter #4
"Live It To Give It."
A simple, short phrase yet with profound significance beyond what those five little words alone could reveal. That short phrase, uttered by a man I've come to admire, Cliff Parrish, during our first encounter as he instructed a class that would catapult me, and my entire life into a
journey I couldn't have envisioned beforehand.
Before I go any further you should know I've spent the last 17 years in prison.
I only mention that because it's an integral part of this journey that's brought me to this point where I'm writing the foreword for a book about influential leadership.
The book is called, Foundations For Life, a book that has infinitely transformed my life in a most deep-seated manner and it can and will do the same for you and for anyone who applies what's learned. Thank you for letting me share my transformation with you.
Author SHARI TVRDIK
Pictured above: Children from the State Shelter Christmas morning 2016 learn about the true meaning of Christmas wearing robes and crowns, because "everyone's invited".
I spent many Christmases as a missionary in Mongolia "missing out" on the Christmas with family at home.
Now that I'm back in the USA it all feels so very far away.
But, I remember everything.
I remember the pain of my neighbors on the other side of the world.
I can still hear the sound of fathers tearing apart our wood fence at night in order to have something to burn for heat in their homes.
I have not forgotten and the look of hunger in the eyes of a child who showed me five pieces of bread and exclaimed, "We have food for the whole week...Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday."
I remember the feeling of the lump that moved to my throat when he looked at me and said, "Would you like some Shari?"
I wondered if I'd forget it one day, the suffering that abounded near me for so many years.
I wondered if I would forget the joy of Christmas spent with orphans who didn't expect a gift or even a hug. Everything offered to them was received with the wonder of a person who feels undeserved.
I wondered if I would forget the precious deserved.
It's easy to become distracted by the holiday shopping, Christmas parties and family gatherings. I look at my bank statements and feel the slug in the gut from Christmas spending
sprees. It's a wonderful blessing isn't it, to have such a beautiful struggle.
We who have less pressing issues than survival, take the message of Christmas into our traditions without desperately aching for it in our soul.
But let me tell you for certain, in case you wonder, there is a Christmas where none of the trappings and trimmings matter. It does indeed exists, a Christmas, where the message itself is the gift a soul is hungering to receive.
There are people, in prison, in cold homes, on streets, in orphanages and shelters all around this globe who know a Christmas like this. For them, there is a desperate hope in the message of a Savior. The message of a God who loved them wholly is exactly what they need to continue into tomorrow.
They long for Him the way the people of Israel did on that silent night.
They wait too.
Some are waiting still to know.
Missions is the telling of this story with one's life.
The story of a love that surpass all understanding, of a willingness of God to come to us right here in our pain, our loneliness, our mess, our need and our empty.
For those of us with the privilege to require reminders to put the message of Jesus above the gifts and the treats, we must not forget a world who longs for one thing, a world who waits to hear there is hope. A world who takes the Christmas message into their starving souls and swallows it down as life.
LETTER #3 With Love From Prison Series
The following Stories From The Field editions will be a series of letters written by incarcerated men in the United States. These letters were penned as a response to FREEDOM FROM WITHIN , Foundations For Life - Unleash The Masterpiece, a program developed by CCWM Missionaries Cliff and Sue Parrish to teach how to live Godly principles in such a way that brings contagious life transformation, even within the walls of a prison. The letters are then used as forwards to future books published. Cliff and Sue are taking Freedom From Within to the prisons of the United States and possibly to a church near you. This is Letter #3
"I thank God for allowing this even to become a book that many will share the benefit as I'm sharing with you.
As you read these pages, you'll notice that each chapter is so interesting very captivated with a spiritual power that moves you to continue reading on.
I am so blessed to have inside my life my beautiful wife. She is without a doubt a true woman of God.
I am incarcerated, and yet she is still inside my corner even though I cheated on her.
And out of that product my son was conceived. Adultery.
I see the characteristics in her which I've learned from these classes as examples:
Gentle Spirit, Loving Affection, Effective Communication, to name a few.
She added value to my life which allowed me to be honestly more compassionate.
I'm 52 years old, as I mentioned earlier, I'm incarcerated.
I'm not trying to brag about my wife, but to reflect on how precious a woman's worth is.
I'm writing the forward for this book because so many individuals today are either in my shoes, been in my shoes or, most importantly, I pray, can avoid being in my shoes.
Inside the book, you'll learn about blind spots, which are areas you don't see yet others do.
Also, it builds a respectable persons spiritual growth and a mental growth at the same time, producing morals, values, and principles in which we see certain changes from day to day and person to person.
We all need someone. We were never intended to be alone.
I've grown to understand this is true while attending these classes:
Foundations For Life, Taking the Lead and Thriving Teams; which has allowed me to flourish and grow into someone special.
As Mr. Cliff says UTM "Unleash The Masterpiece - that is within every one of us! We are very unique individuals.
As you read each chapter in itself you'll notice transformation immediately and become attached to this book as if this book was personally for your eyes only; allowing your true identity to reflect and shine out of your personality whether on the job, in school, gatherings, family outings, etc.
The Masterpiece inside of you will be unleashed!
May God bless you and yours always. Stay encouraged.
I'm very thankful for these classes, books, materials, etc.
It has truly given my life more meaning and my family, friends, and especially my wife has told me what changes I have made since taking these classed.
Most of all applying what I've learned another quote Mr. Cliff would say: "Live it to give it!"
Thank you very much for taking your time out to read and become apart of what you just read.
God bless and stay encouraged always.
Peace be with you!
Author: SHARI TVRDIK
When I first met up with Cliff and Sue Parrish again, after so many years away in Mongolia I couldn't help but sit there in tears.
The couple was overflowing with LIFE GIVING stories of transformation.
While I was working in the slums of Mongolia, the Lord had placed my U.S. friends in prison.
Honestly, it was the last place I would have imagined them landing.
When I left for the mission field in 2009 Cliff was headed to the top.
He was an entrepreneur.
Everything he did was innovative, driven and powered with success.
He was the kind of guy who invited you out for ice-cream and left you with the feeling that ice-cream was the bait.
His real goal was to discover what you were created to do with your life.
It was over ice-cream, or maybe it was apple pie, that Cliff did just that to my husband Troy and I in 2002.
We were on a couples date with Cliff and Sue and very naive to the caliber of couple we had chosen to hang out with on a Friday night.
After a brief bout with small talk Cliff asked,
“What do you want to do with your life?” (emphasis on the want).
Unaware that he had poignantly thrown the fun right out of the room and shot to the heart, Cliff stared at us across the table, waiting for our reply.
We were a young couple who had walked a long and tired road.
Cliff and Sue were unaware Troy and I had fought like maniacs before the date because we were behind on bills again.
Christmas was coming and there was never anything left for the dream holiday we were waiting for.
My mind filled with a quick sarcastic reply to Cliff’s question,
“I want to pay my bills and get along with my husband.”
However I wisely kept those words inside with a bite of pie.
Saved by the full mouth, my husband Troy was left to answer.
“I want to help people.” Troy said.
“Children. I want to build an orphanage or work with really wounded people.”
I choked my bite down and grabbed some water.
Troy was a carpenter.
He worked from 4am until after ten some nights.
Our goals were limited to TODAY.
I had never once heard that my husband had a hearts desire to “help people,” or to “build an orphanage.”
Who was this man?
Then, baited and hooked, Cliff rebutted ,
“No you don’t.”
A little surprised by his directness we both sat facing Cliff and Sue as if we had accidentally ended up in a therapy session.
And then he reeled us in.
“We always do what we want to do.
It’s in our nature.
So if you wanted to help people, build and orphanage or work with wounded people,
We went on to defend ourselves a for a bit.
We have four kids.
We’re not really qualified.
We don’t even know any orphans.
We haven’t paid our phone bill this month.
On the way home Troy and I talked about his audacity.
But, that evening stayed.
It stayed somewhere deep inside and began to do it’s work.
The Lord had much more to teach us, but that evening opened Troy and I up to an idea that perhaps God had the ability after all to use even us, to do something maybe a little bit out of the box with our life.
Our thinking changed.
Maybe our want did as well.
We left for the Mongolian mission field seven years later.
My husband did build an orphanage and so much more.
He ended up directing a humanitarian organization and helped a whole lot of wounded people. I ran a shelter for street girls and we planted a church among an un-reached people.
I can trace our ministry back to some pie, and Cliff and Sue Parrish.
And now, nearly seventeen years after that awkward evening Cliff and Sue were in prison.
How did that happen?
Cliff could have done anything.
I imagined him inspiring those at the top to WANT what God wants.
Instead, he and Sue had made the decision to leave his successful business world and walk into the world we all avoid, to the place where people go who have messed up so badly our society has to lock them away.
“Every single day there is a story to tell.” Cliff said.
He was softer now.
Life had curved his edges a bit.
There was a joy behind his eyes and I couldn’t help tearing up in the presence of Cliff and Sue in awe of what God had done.
They told me a story of man they met in prison years ago.
“We liked him.” Cliff told me.
“We gave him money, a job, a home when he got out.”
The story ended with a twist that caught me in the gut.
“He committed suicide.” Cliff said.
“I recognized there had to be a better way to reach people than simply lifting them above their physical circumstances, more was needed.“
Cliff and Sue had gone forward from the loss to developed a course which they called, Foundations For Life, building a foundation from Biblical principles to rescue even the most hopeless man. They began taking their course into US prisons and were profoundly moved by the effect God’s principles had on people.
“People are being TRANSFORMED by God’s word and some don’t even realize it because it’s not overtly ‘Christian’.” Cliff shared.
“Then, they are taking it out of prison and to their families.” Sue said.
So it’s contagious. I thought.
Cliff and Sue were invited into prisons which were known to keep outsiders away.
They were sought after because the results were already coming in. Results beyond what Cliff and Sue themselves had even imagined.
Foundations For Life worked.
“If we reduce recidivism we all win.” Cliff said with a smile on his face.
“Recidivism?” I asked.
“The tendency of a convicted criminal to re-offend.” Cliff educated me.
“I’m motivated by the fact that these guys will be moving into our communities when they get out, what kind of neighbors will they be?”
I asked Cliff and Sue if I could read a story of one of the prisoner's life transformed.
Sue popped open her laptop and took me to a file where there were currently four hundred and sixty stories. Stories the prisoners wrote about themselves.
Letters from prison.
“These are the ones I’ve been able to get on file, there are more I haven’t typed up yet.”Sue said, her eyes all alight with excitement.
Cliff and Sue are Cup of Cold Water missionaries now.
The financial success they were headed towards was a wonderful blessing but this is what they WANTED to do.
They wanted to use their gifts and talents to go beyond their years here.
They wanted to listen to what God WANTED for them and move into that.
“Do you think this would work outside of prison?” I asked.
I had people coming to my mind who I knew would be deeply impacted by a Foundations For Life Course and I would rather them NOT have to go to prison to discover it.
“Absolutely.” Cliff replied.
He went on to tell me how during the development phase of Foundations For Life he had chosen a wide range of people to “test” it on.
One was a highly respected Psychologist whose wife had exclaimed, “This has been the best thirteen weeks of my life.” referring to the impact the course had on her husband.
The problem was, there are only two of them right now. Cliff and Sue Parrish. They were focusing in on the prisons with more offers to share the course throughout the state.
This time, I went on to pressure them.
“But I really believe our community right here could benefit from this, would you consider teaching it?”
They said yes….and then they asked me for ice cream.
Pray for me!
The Foundations For Life Course begins November 5, 2018 right here in Sheridan, IL.
If you have been moved by this story and believe you or someone you love needs transformation (don’t we all!) then please register soon. The link to register is below this article.
The following Stories From The Field editions will be a series of letters written by incarcerated men in the United States. These letters were penned as a response to FREEDOM FROM WITHIN , Foundations For Life - Unleash The Masterpiece, a program developed by CCWM Missionaries Cliff and Sue Parrish to teach how to live Godly principles in such a way that brings contagious life transformation, even within the walls of a prison. Cliff and Sue are taking Freedom From Within to the prisons of the United States and possibly to a church near you. This is Letter #2
"When I first started this class, I was not the type of person who felt comfortable speaking in front of others, specifically crowds, and then I learned how to properly communicate through Foundations For Life. It was then that I started to learn how to understand how to speak publicly in front of others. I also learned how to communicate by listening, using the right tone, and using the right words. It has also given me the right spiritual connection with God, and it has shown me how to really establish a foundation in my household, and with any team that I am trying to develop or be a part of. I am glad that my brother Cliff started this class because he has helped me with this class more than any college degree. This class has shown me how to look within myself in ways I didn’t know how to. I have been able to identify issues that I never knew that I had until I was able to discover myself, and my own issues, through
this class. I have become a better man to my family and my female companion and most of all – God and myself. Foundation For Life is the best thing that has happened to me."
"This class has shown me how to look within myself in ways I didn't know how to."
VISIT US NEXT WEEK FOR LETTER #3
The following Stories From The Field editions will be a series of letters written by incarcerated men in the United States. These letters were penned as a response to FREEDOM FROM WITHIN , Foundations For Life - Unleash The Masterpiece, a program developed by CCWM Missionaries Cliff and Sue Parrish to teach how to live Godly principles in such a way that brings contagious life transformation, even within the walls of a prison. Cliff and Sue are taking Freedom From Within to the prisons of the United States and possibly to a church near you.
"I'm here to tell you that you are of value. You are worth investing time in. I don't care what you've done to get here. It's none of my business. I am here to show you how to unleash the masterpiece that is within you."
These are words I will never forget.
Cliff Parrish, a man I see as a mentor, said these words to a whole class.
I felt as if he was directly talking to me and really he was. I had never heard these words in that way. Let alone spoken to me.
I am 27 years old.
I have been incarcerated since I was 18 years old.
Fatherless home with a loving mom, trying to play both roles while battling her own demons. She is a wonderful mom but just let some things set her very far off course. I grew up hopping around. Never really had a stable father figure except for my Uncle. It was always easy for me to do wrong never right. Through all of this, I never was really taught to have a foundation in my life. It was always "Do good in school, and you can do what you want."
And I did just that most of the time.
Luckily, I ended up in prison. While many people consider this a curse, it has honestly the best thing (Besides my daughter) that has ever happened to me. If it weren't for this, I would have never encountered Foundations for Life.
When I first took "Foundations for Life" I had just accepted Jesus and was trying to get my feet wet into whatever seemed faith-based. I had no idea what I was in for! That was life changing Foundational framework for my life.
Principles and values. Meaningful impact. Authentic friendship. These are just a tiny taste of what you will find in this book.
If you believe in transformation and are seeking it, this is for you! If you think you are of value and even more so if you don't this is for you! Just believing isn't enough.
1Peter 1:13 states "Therefore prepare your minds for action..." Keyword Action, you see, if there is no action behind your belief is there a belief?
Foundations For Life has greatly impacted my life. Every day I walk this beautiful earth.
I am revealing the masterpiece to myself and the to the world though I fail, I am still as Ephesians 2:10.
VISIT US NEXT WEEK FOR LETTER #2
Author SAM DONHOWE
co/authored by Shari Tvrdik
It was Sunday evening and the service at the La Paz God With Us Church was almost over.
I was thinking about what the afternoon would hold for me when all of a sudden the Pastor mentioned my name:
“we have a donation of clothing and shoes that needs to be delivered next Saturday to a village near Puno (southern Peru). The village has been affected by heavy frost this winter. If anyone wants to sign up for a brief trip to send relief to these communities, please talk with Sam”.
I stood up and waved as if I knew what the pastor was talking about, while silently unsure of what was happening and not knowing what the Lord had in store for me.
I spent the next week coordinating the arrangements for the trip (with all the flaws of Bolivian logistics),
I found out a little more about the situation in the region that we were about to visit.
It was a precarious time for the people living there.
Livestock, mainly llamas, had died due to the frost. There were children and the elderly in these communities who had taken sick with pneumonia.
The following Saturday we gathered the small team of five Bolivians and two Peruvian volunteers. After a 7 hour uncomfortable van ride our team arrived to the village of Crucero, which lies three hours north of Lake Titicaca.
This was absolutely not where I had planned to be when I arrived to church six days ago a beautiful Sunday morning.
However, I was thankful for the unexpected.
As we began to hand out the medicine, Christian literature, shoes and clothing to the people, I was reminded of what I read in the Bible during my quiet time earlier that day.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25: 34-40
The scripture which had been simply in words read in the morning, became living letters to me that afternoon.
I looked for Jesus.
I should see Jesus in these people and care for them as if they were Jesus himself.
So many times I want to see Jesus in the important people but instead I must train my eyes to see Jesus in the needy and weary.
Perhaps we would run to these uncomfortable places,
to these hurting people,
if we truly believed His words.
Stories From The Past
Who Writes The Stories?